How do the emotions we feel influence us? Ten psychological facts you should know.
Human beings are emotional beings, and for that reason we can seem irrational at times.
In fact, our most emotional part influences us even in making important decisions. Antonio Damasio has already said it: ” emotion is a necessary ingredient in almost every decision we make.” The truth is that strong emotions and feelings are capable of moving the world. For this reason, today’s post is dedicated to this topic.
10 psychological facts about human feelings and emotions
1. Without realizing it, the mood of other people affects us
Almost without realizing it, we are deeply affected by other people’s moods. Experts call this phenomenon “emotional contagion.” This is a natural process in which mirror neurons participate, and they allow us to reflect the emotions of other people as concluded by a research by Ginger Blume carried out in 2007.
2. Emotional pain hurts the same as physical love
In recent years, neuroimaging studies have shown that the regions involved in physical pain processing overlap those related to emotional pain and social distress (Jaffe, 2013).
3. There is a phobia to fall in love: Philosophobia
The fear of being in love is called Philofobia . This condition is part of anxiety disorders and affects the social and emotional life of the person who suffers it. In severe cases, the philophobic may not only avoid potential loves, but may also stop associating with co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family
- To learn more about this disorder, you can visit our article: ” Philosophobia or the fear of falling in love “
4. When we hug, we release oxytocin
Do you know why hugs feel so good? Because when we hug, we release a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone is of great importance in building trust and plays an important role in social interactions. Reptiles release oxytocin during sexual intercourse, but mammals produce it all the time. This is why reptiles stay away from other reptiles except when mating, while mammals form attachments with relatives, litters, or herds.
5. Different everyday experiences can exhaust one’s ability to resist moral temptations
Do we always act the same when faced with temptations? It seems it is not the case. One study (Kouchaki, 2013) states that people are more likely to have less self-control when they are tired. On the other hand, another study concluded that people have less self-control as the workday progresses (Barnes et al. 2014).
These results could be linked to another study, from Florida State University, which states that restoring glucose to an optimal level usually improves self-control. And it turns out that in 2009, the Stanford University School of Medicine found that circadian rhythms are directly related to the mechanism that processes sugar in the blood. For this reason, fatigue could be associated with a decrease in willpower in the face of immoral temptations.
This could happen both ways. That is, people would tend to immoral behavior when they are tired due to lack of self-control. But a lack of self-control can affect people too, causing them to lower their guard and succumb to immoral temptations.
6. Emotional desensitization of parents can be bad for children
The desensitization is defined as the decrease in emotional responsiveness to negative or aversive stimulus after repeated exposure to it. In a recent study, it was shown that when parents desensitize themselves to violence and sex in movies, they become more permissive about their children’s exposure to these types of movies (Romer, 2014).
7. Chocolate is the drug of love
Chocolate has been considered an aphrodisiac, but it has also been dubbed the drug of love. And it is not precisely because we are used to giving chocolates along with some flowers to show love to our partner. But then what is the motive? Well, chocolate contains tryptophan, a chemical that helps produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter related to happiness, and plays an important role in mood, emotional well-being and the correct balance of appetite and sleep.
In addition, chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, a neurotransmitter that participates in promoting attraction, and stimulates the areas of the brain related to pleasure. In heartbreak, the levels of these two substances drop. That is why, when a sentimental partner leaves us, we gorge ourselves on chocolate to make up for this deficit.
8. Psychological science affirms that emotions are four and not six
Ever since American psychologist Paul Ekman first proposed that there were a total of six basic emotions, this has been popular belief. According to Ekman, the emotions were: sadness, happiness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust.
Now, a study published in Current Biology and carried out by researchers at Glasgow University, in the United Kingdom, affirms that there are 4 basic emotions.
- To learn more about this study, in this article by the psychologist Bertrand Regader we explain it to you: ” Study shows that there are four basic emotions, and not six as was believed “
9. Mirror neurons are related to empathy
Mirror neurons are key to the harmonization of individuals with the environment, since they allow us to capture the emotions of others, not through conceptual reasoning but through direct experience. The cause of you blushing when you see someone when they are being humiliated, or that you identify with a person when they are crying, is because of mirror neurons. Ramachandran affirms that these neurons give us the capacity to empathize, that is, they make us feel what others feel.
10. Laughter and humor are a form of therapy
There are many types of psychological therapy that exist. One of them is laughter therapy, an alternative therapy that consists of creating situations that promote laughter and humor. In this way it is possible to relieve physical and emotional tensions. The benefits of laughter therapy are many.
- For you to know better this form of therapy, you just have to click on this link: ” Laughter therapy : the psychological benefits of laughter “
- Gadenne, V. (2006). Philosophy of psychology. Spain: Herder.
- Papalia, D. and Wendkos, S. (1992). Psychology. Mexico: McGraw-Hill
- Triglia, Adrián; Regader, Bertrand; García-Allen, Jonathan (2016). Psychologically speaking. Paidos.